Below are some of the most common problems laundries may experience with mats along with the possible causes and corresponding solutions.

Border Cuts, Splits, Tears

  • Gaps between the dryer basket and housing:  The cure for this is to use proper gaskets supplied by the equipment manufacturer and to ensure basket supports are properly adjusted.
  • Customer abuse:  Customers sometimes cut mats to make them fit around equipment or furniture.  Also, mats occasionally are cut by electric doors or other customer equipment.  Service people should be made aware of such problems so they can be eliminated.
  • Sharp edges in processing equipment:  These are usually found in dryers and can best be located by feel.
  • Excessive extractor pressure or speed:  A high-speed centrifugal extractor can stretch mats to the point of bursting.  Maximum centrifugal extractor pressure should not exceed 250 G’s.  Ram extractors are not recommended for mats.
  • Product design:  Some mat manufacturers choose not to reinforce their mat borders which enables mats to tear or split more easily.

Burned or Melted Carpet

  • Excessive dryer temperatures:  Nylon melts at approximately 500˚ F.  If mats have been exposed to these temperatures, the carpet surface will feel rough and coarse.  It may also be possible to see burn marks caused by dryer ribs or basket perforations.  Inspect dryers to insure they are properly maintained.  For more information, refer to Tech Tip for Mat Drying.
  • Cigarette burns:  These should be self-evident.  The service department should be advised so the damage can be eliminated.  Avoid using solid color mats in areas where this problem exists.
  • Chemical burns, welding burns:  Damage of this nature should be self-evident.

Chewing Gum or Tar on Carpet Surface

It is possible to remove most gum and/or tar by using De-Solve-It, a citrus based solvent.  Please note: Follow directions on the bottle and wash mats immediately after using De-Solve-It to prevent damage to the rubber backing.

Color Loss

Color loss can be caused by high wash temperatures and/or high pH detergents.  Please make sure you are using the proper washing procedures for the mat.  Laundering instructions for each product can be found on the prouct detail page for that mat.  

Delamination - Carpet Separates from Rubber Backing

This problem is rarely encountered.  When it is encountered, it is generally due to a manufacturing defect.   There is no solution other than replacement by the manufacturer.

Dingy & Dull Mats

Poor cleaning during washing can cause mats to appear dull or dingy.  This can be caused by too low wash temperatures, too much or too little detergent, or inadequate rinsing.  Please make sure you are using the proper washing procedures for the mat.  Laundering instructions for each product can be found on the prouct detail page for that mat.  

Discoloration of Floor Beneath Mat

Yellowing is normally attributed to moisture.  The moisture is typically already present on the floor when mats are placed, and since the mats prevent the moisture’s evaporation, the moisture becomes trapped in the floor surface, causing discoloration. 

On hard surface floors, the use of cleated mats will help reduce trapped moisture.  On carpet, this problem is caused by placing mats on wet carpet.  Again, the mats prevent the moisture from evaporating which causes severe yellowing or browning of the carpet color.   Discolored carpet of this nature is very difficult or impossible to clean.  Mats should never be placed over wet carpet.  Instead, allow the carpet to dry before placing the mat.

Dye Cross Staining

This problem is usually seen on light colored mats that have been washed with dark colored mats.  High wash temperatures and/or high pH chemicals usually cause this problem.  Please make sure you are using the proper washing procedures for the mat.  Laundering instructions for each product can be found on the prouct detail page for that mat.  

Faded Property Marks

As mats age, it is normal for property marks to fade.  This is more commonly seen on labels placed on borders or corners of mats.  The fading is caused by the abrasion of mats in the washing and drying process.

Lint From Other Mats on Carpet & Cleated Backing

This problem is caused by poor tuft lock between carpet and rubber backing.  M+A mats are made with a special polyester substrate to prevent this problem.  However, all mat producers do not use this product.  Once mats of this nature are in your system, there is little that can be done to prevent the fiber loss. The lint can usually be removed by drying the mats for 5-10 minutes.

Poor Overdye Results

  • Not using enough dye kits for amount of mats being dyed:  Use 1 to 200 pound dye kit per 200 pounds of mats.
  • Temperatures in the steam-up portion of the procedure are too low:   Insure that 195˚ F (95˚ C) is reached and then maintained for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • Leaky dump valves allow dye bath to leak out:  As water refills the washer, the dye bath is diluted and the bath temperature is reduced.  Ensure that dump valves seal properly before beginning over-dye process.
  • Water levels are too high in dye formula:  High water levels dilute the acid used in the dye kit.  Ensure that recommended water levels are used.  Refer to Tech Tip Re-Dying/OverDying.

Odors in Mats After Washing

Odors result from mats not being properly cleaned.  This problem can be made worse by not drying mats. 

In severe cases, it may be necessary to use the Heavy Soil Wash Formula for that mat (please reference the particular mat's laundering instructions).

Ozone Damage

Ozone is a naturally occurring ground level gas.  Over time, rubber that is exposed to ozone can become weakened and damaged.  Mats experiencing ozone damage exhibit cracking on the rubber side of the mat similar to a spider web.  Mats that are stored over significant amounts of time should be rolled with the carpet-side out.  This will decrease the likelihood of ozone damage.

Rippled or Distorted Mats

  • High temperatures:  High temperature in the wash or over-drying mats can cause the carpet to shrink, leading to distorted or rippled edging.  The rubber will not support the tension created by the yarn shrinkage.
  • Excessive extraction pressure:  Centrifugal extraction with high G forces can stretch, ripple and otherwise damage mats.  Consult with M+A Matting or your equipment supplier to ensure proper extraction pressures are used.
  • Stretching of mats:  Runners are particularly proned to this when they are removed from washers and dryers.  Instruct operators not to pull on borders of mats when unloading tangled mats.
  • Exposure to strong solvents and petrochemicals:  Exposure to these chemicals can cause the rubber to swell.  This swelling can cause ripples in the borders of mats.
  • Allowing mats to cool in a position other than flat:  When mats cool in a wrinkled or folded state, they retain the “heat set.”  Heating the mats to normal drying temperature usually cures this problem.

Sand Build-Up in Carpet/Mat Surface

This problem is the result of not drying mats.  Damp mats retain sand.  A short 5-10 minute drying cycle will eliminate this problem.

Spot Color Loss

Typically caused by exposure to bleach, this problem can be difficult to diagnose as the color loss caused by the bleach does not necessarily occur before mats are picked up.  It occurs when the mats are washed.  Service people should be conscious of bleach odors in mats, particularly in food handling establishments where bleach is used as a disinfectant.

Spot Swelling on Carpet & Rubber

Exposure to solvents and petrochemicals can cause spot swelling.  Common examples are gasoline, hydraulic or transmission fluid.

Stained Mats

Certain stains are difficult to remove using normal wash procedures.  If heavy soil wash formulas do not produce desired results, treat stains with De-Solve-It.  Please note: Follow the directions on the bottle and wash mats immediately after using De-Solve-It to prevent damage.

Streak Color Loss

Streak color loss is usually caused by a defect in tufting or yarn production.  Consult with your mat supplier to remedy this problem.

Wet Floors Beneath Mats

This problem can be caused by floors sweating beneath mats.  Use of mats with a cleated backing will usually reduce or eliminate the problem.  CAUTION: Mats should never be placed on wet floors.

Yellowing or Browning of Silver or Light Blue Mats

This problem seems to vary depending on local water conditions.  Some customers have no problems, while others experience significant difficulties.  The use of chemicals such as sodium percarbonate or hydrogen peroxide typically minimize this problem.